Ramkiki Lodge

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.ramkietjie.co.za/

This farm style wedding and conference venue set in Ruimsig, Honeydew is literally 7 minutes from our house. It is a beautiful little bit of paradise hidden along the Wilge River banks.


They have a quaint little restaurant on the grounds called Ramkietjie. We were spoilt to be the only guests at the restaurant for breakfast because the venue was hosting a conference and all the conference delegates were checking in at reception.

They have a beautiful chapel on the grounds to be used for weddings…


There is also a pool bar on the other side of the river overlooking the grounds, ideal for pool parties and a Saturday afternoon chillax around the pool, or order one of their famous wood fired pizzas and enjoy a cool refreshing beer.


Breakfast was freshly served, and a Full English breakfast for only R80 is well worth it. Thabiseng the restaurant host was friendly, helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

Make a booking at 011 958 0503.

Kloofzicht

Kloofzicht Lodge and Spa:

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Aprox cost: R2370 per room per night

Website: http://kloofzicht.co.za

We were fortunate to have Sunday lunch at this beautiful lodge and spa. On arriving at the main gate on Sunday afternoon we did not know what to expect? Riding down the road to the main lodge we were met by a number of buck (eland, kudu, wildebees, impala and springbok) along the way, almost as if they were welcoming us to their home. The view of the lodge on the dam, from the top of the road was spectacular and set the tone for what was going to be a weekend to remember and a place we would tell our friends about.

The lodge is situated at the feet of the Zwartkops mountain range in the Cradle of Humankind and provides guests with a number of activities to choose from. There is the fine dining experience of the restaurant, relaxation at the spa, fly fishing at one of the trout dams, a walk up one of the trails or just quietly sitting reading a book on a bench – Kloofzicht has it all.


We thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday lunch and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon walking around the dams and watching some newly weds try their hand at fly fishing. Kloofzicht is also a popular wedding venue with the outdoor chapel right on the waters edge, saying your vows to the sound of a mother goose and her babies on the water must be something special.
Try this restaurant or accommodation next time you just want to break away from the city hustle and bustle.

Mokoya Lodge

Mokoya Lodge and Sweet Thyme Restaurant

Type: Lodge and Restaurant

Approx cost: From R400 per person per night

Website: http://www.mokoya.co.za

We took a 40 minute ride through Muldersdrift and Hekpoort towards Hartebeespoort Dam, to Mokoya Lodge this morning. It was a cool ride as it was overcast and a cool wind was blowing. We turned off onto a dirt road and followed the signs to Mokoya. What a beautiful, peaceful little lodge situated along the Magalies River. We ordered breakfast and sat outside on the terrace with a nice cup of coffee and muesli and fruit. Then we got our breakfast , bacon, eggs, beef sausage, beans and toast. They have their special Mokoya chili sauce which was tasty and not too hot.

We had to try out their hammocks under the trees after breakfast.
We took a walk around the lodge, down to the river and the function lapa. There is a volleyball court on beach sand and a swimming pool for some fun in the sun. There is also a boma down by the river for those warm summer evening socials.

The boma looks beautiful at night with all the candles and fire.

Avianto 

Type: Hotel, Restaurant and Conference venue

Approx Cost: Check the website

Website: http://www.avianto.co.za

Avianto is a lifestyle estate situated in Muldersdrift and set along the Crocodile River. It has a Village Hotel with 29 luxury rooms and 5 suites, there are a few venues to choose from for your wedding or conference and the gardens are beautifully laid out around the various venues for photos to be taken.


The wedding venues offer specialized people appointed to handle your decor, music, catering and everything you need, making this a hassle free and a popular option.


We visited Cafe Cielo on the estate and this little cafe is beautifully set under the trees for breakfast. The service was fast and friendly and you get a good hearty breakfast for under R100.  We even had a beautiful blue eyed cat come and keep us company. This is such a peaceful place where you can spend an hour or two just walking in the gardens after breakfast to recharge after a hectic week in the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Clifftop Exclusive Lodge

Clifftop exclusive safari hideawayType: Accommodation
Approx cost: R4,200 per person per night
Website: http://clifftoplodge.co.za/
This premium exclusive lodge is situated 3 ½ hours from Johannesburg in the Malaria free Welgevonden Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg Mountains.
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Lodge is a special place where service is exemplary and luxury is evident. We had to leave our vehicle at the main gate parking and was picked up by the owners in a Land Rover as the road leading up to the main lodge was too steep and rocky.

Each cabin is perfectly positioned along the cliff overlooking the Sterkstroom River to offer exclusivity and privacy. Each cabin has its own splash pool, outside deck and outside bed for those long summer nights.
We were introduced to our very own butler who would look after us for the weekend, he served us dinner in a private setting at the main lodge. We felt like royalty as the other cabins were all fully booked, but we didn’t see any of the other couples. Each couple was served the 3 course dinner in their own private setting at the main lodge. Quite extraordinary and exclusive and romantic all at the same time.

The next morning at breakfast was the first time we managed to see that there were in fact other couples staying over the weekend. (the price includes all meals and game drives) After breakfast we headed on the first game drive of the morning and came across a number of animals including, Lion, Rhino, various buck, zebra, giraffe and a troop of Elephants.

We were looking for Leopards on our game drive but these shy animals avoided being detected, hiding in the rocky outcrops. Out of sight to the untrained eye. The weekend was most relaxing and enjoyable. We got our fair share of game viewing, relaxing, privacy and 5-star service and food. Before we knew it the weekend was over and we were being driven back down to the main gate for our 3 hour trip back to Johannesburg.

Stonehaven on Vaal

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.stonehaven.co.za/

We took a 45 min ride out to Stonehaven on Vaal in Vanderbijlpark for our breakfast run. The restaurant is set alongside the Vaal River and features indoor or outdoor seating. On a nice summers day it is ideal to take advantage of the outdoor seating where mini gazebos are set up on the grass bank overlooking the Vaal river. This is a beautiful setting on the green grass bank, and if you are lucky you will see some sporting activities like water skiing, jet packs and jet ski’s also pass by from time to time.

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We enjoyed it so much at Stonehaven a few weeks later, we took my dad there for breakfast . (Not on the bike, we went through by car)

Stonehaven restaurant offers fast friendly service, but they also serve a great breakfast at reasonable prices. Well worth the ride out.

Other attractions at Stonehaven, they offer boat cruises, Sunday lunch cruises and sunset cruises on the Vaal River. This has also become a very popular wedding venue.

While we were there we took a walk-about on the boat while it was docked.


There are also some benches along the waterfront to relax on, a swimming pool, a jungle gym for the kids to play on and a small petting zoo to see some farm animals. Fun in the sun for the whole family.

Budmarsh private lodge

Budmarsh 5 star private lodge

Type: Accommodation and restaurant

Approx Cost: R4,000 per room per night

Website: http://www.budmarsh.co.za/

We took a 40 minute ride out to Budmarsh private lodge situated in the heart of the Magaliesberg. They offer  5-star accommodation and conference facilities in a country styled setting. This makes it the ideal venue for weddings, conferences and team building events. Or alternatively if you just want to come through and book a private picnic outside under the trees.


Guests can relax around the swimming pool, take a walk, or play some snooker, but this place offers the ultimate in quiet, peaceful tranquility and 5-star service.

We did not stay over but asked to view the  rooms, 3 room types are available at Budmarsh – Luxury, Superior and Superior Suite. (prices are available on their website) We did enjoy their breakfast outside on the patio. It was such a pleasant morning. After breakfast we went for a walk around the complex and the grounds.


It was then time to get on the bike and head out. South Africa vs Australia rugby game was coming on later the afternoon and I was already kitted out in my rugby jersey to support the bokke.

Harties cableway

Type: Cableway and Restaurant

Website: http://www.hartiescableway.co.za/

We took an hour ride Past Lanseria to Harties and decided to check out the cableway. We both come from Cape Town and have been living in Johannesburg for the past 8 years now and we didn’t even know Johannesburg has its own cableway. On arriving at the base station we were excited to see the smaller cable cars and surprised by how many were going up and down constantly.


We waited in the queue, bought our tickets and moved up the ramp to the entrance of the base station. The queue moved quite quickly and before we knew it we were shuffled into the moving cable car and the doors closed behind us. We were off… The cable car picks up speed to start its ascend against the Magaliesberg, ‘this is a World Heritage Site, known for its natural beauty and rich heritage. Its lush vegetation and picturesque valleys make it a popular escape for residents of the nearby cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is also a popular wedding destination and boasts a number of hotels and spas.’ – website.

But my wife was not interested in Heritage site or the lush vegetation and picturesque valleys as the wind picked up slightly and the cable car began to sway gently in the wind. “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh” was heard most of the way up. I suppose it depends on which side of the cable car you are seated, either ascending facing forward or backward how you will experience it. I was facing backward and had the beautiful view of the Hartebeespoort Dam as we ascended, it was magnificent.


On arriving at the top base station, once again the doors open and you need to shuffle out while the cable car is still in motion. Hurriedly we are getting out while other customers are on the other side waiting to get in.

There is a beautiful wooden deck on top with a restaurant, curio shops and look out posts. I was quite surprised and immediately thought about the effort it must have taken to bring all this equipment up to build it.

The views from the top are spectacular and definitely something everyone should at least try once.


We then took a walk around the walkway and this lead us to a large open area on top of the mountain where there were more little rest areas, an ice cream kiosk  and another restaurant. They had some trampoline jumping activities and music was playing. We bought an ice cream and got into one of the colorful old cable car booths that are used as stalls to sit in and eat or just relax in and reminisce about when these were used as the cable cars in the good old days.


After spending about 2 hours on top it was finally time to leave. My wife was not keen on the trip down and was still nervous from the trip up, but this time she faced forward descending and had the beautiful view of the dam on her way down. The wind had also subsided which helped and we met a German couple which sparked a conversation about their holiday in our beautiful country. Before we knew it we were at the bottom, once again quickly being shuffled out of our car.

A beautiful day in the sun doing something new and interesting and now it was time to head back home on the BMW R1200GS Adventure.

Askari

Askari game lodge and spa:

Type: Accommodation and Spa

Approx cost: R1430 per person per night

Website: http://askarilodge.co.za

We found this gem by absolute chance. We were just out riding through Muldersdrift and Hekpoort when we came to a t-junction in the road. Left to Magaliesburg or right to Hartebeespoort, we decided to go left. About 3 kms down the road we came across a large Askari Game Lodge signboard and decided to take a look, we have never been allowed in at game lodges before as the bike is either dangerous or noisy. We got to the main gate and asked if we could go in as we wanted to go for breakfast at the lodge. To our surprise they allowed us in.

imageSo we took the ride up to the main lodge, on the way we were able to see many buck, zebra, giraffe and we even saw 2 elephants drinking at the watering hole. WOW what an experience our first viewing on the BMW GS. We got up to the lodge very excited and talking about this unique experience not knowing what else Askari has to offer.

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We were then shown where the restaurant and spa was situated. We were taken back in time to the Voortrekkers with the Ox wagons surrounding the restaurant. They also have an old museum in a barn with numerous old wagons and carts.

The breakfast was a delight at R225 per person for a full buffet and we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the view. We only realized afterwards that this was a very popular wedding venue and couples select Askari to get married at because you can have your photos taken with these beautiful huge elephants. They also have a nice selection of accommodation available from self catering, to garden cottages and deluxe suites. Check out the Askari website for details.